Happy Friday!! I hope everyone is enjoying our picnic this week. There are more fun recipes to come, including a refreshing picnic cocktail from yours truly, so be sure to check back next week. In the meantime, it’s my turn to offer-up this week’s “Yum, We Love . . .” where we highlight a selection of our favorite links from around the web. Enjoy!
Alanna Taylor-Tobin of The Bojon Gourmet combined three of my favorite things in the world, rum, coconut and granola, to make one superhero combo of deliciousness: Rum-Kissed Coconut Granola. There’s officially no reason to even glance at another granola recipe, ever! You can quote me on that.
Although sandwiches seem like a given for a picnic, they’re tricky because you run the risk of ending up with soggy bread. However with certain sandwiches, it isn’t the worst thing to have the sandwich sitting around for a while – in fact, it makes it even better. The muffaletta, a classic New Orleans sandwich, is a great example and is super easy and convenient to make. You start with bread (which, yes you purists, I know this isn’t the authentic round muffaletta loaf, but a focaccia or other Italian round bread does just fine). Then, spread generous amounts of an olive spread and just layer all kinds of delicious cold cuts and cheese. The longer the olive spread and cold cuts can mingle with the bread, the better your muffaletta will be. I love serving these sandwiches cut into rectangles or into wedges so a beautiful cross section of meats and cheeses is exposed!
1 loaf of focaccia or other Italian round bread
1/3 lb of Genoa salami
1/4 lb of Coppa
1/4 lb of Mortadella
1/2 lb of sliced ham
1/2 lb of sliced provolone
1/2 lb of sliced mozzarella
1 cup of green olives, finely diced
1 cup of kalamata olives, finely diced
1/2 cup of marinated artichokes, finely diced
1/3 cup of roasted red bell peppers, finely diced
3 green onions, minced
1 clove of garlic, minced
1/4 cup of celery (about 1 large stalk), thinly sliced
I wish I could say that I picked Hitachino Nest Beer out of a blind tasting lineup. Truthfully, however, it was the little red nest owl staring me down from across the beer aisle. I took a closer look and I was further intrigued after seeing the words, Red Rice Ale. I picked up a few bottles to take with me to our picnic, and it sure did hit the spot. Trust me, the Red Rice Ale from Hitachino Nest Beer is expressive in every way. I’m usually not a fan of malty beers, which it is, but this is different. This is complex, like no beer I’ve ever tasted. Bursts of bold ripe fruit combine with earthy, roasted, rice flavors, and very reminiscent of sake.
The thing that gets me most excited about summer is all the wonderful sweet fruit available, especially strawberries. I also love the idea of packing desserts in jars for picnics. So, when I thought about the perfect picnic dessert, strawberry shortcake in a jar instantly came to mind. I changed up the traditional shortcake by adding sweet basil, which gives the dessert a subtle light herby dimension – perfect for a warm summer day.
1 3/4 pounds of strawberries, rinsed and quartered
1/2 cup of sugar plus 2 tablespoons of sugar
2 tablespoons of thinly sliced sweet basil
1 1/2 cup of cold heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
3 cups of all purpose flour
1 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter, cold and cut into small chunks